May 25, 2024

With no sports competition on air to entertain and with the cable network playing its programs over and over, the television did not become a viable alternative to pass the time away. Yes, there was the current news aired by different channels around the globe, but, these, too, were not worth watching. The broadcasters were centering their reports on the Covid-19.
Every day, there was nothing else to talk about or to listen to except the Covid-19. It was like the world stopped with only the virus making every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every month count.
Hence, after more than two months of listening to this kind of news, it became monotonous. Just by the mention of the Covid-19 made me sick; sicker than what the virus itself may inflict upon my lungs. If it was a medicine, I was suffering from an overdose. There must be a better way to pass the time than just waiting for what the virus will do next. Hence, I turned to the Internet.
I never really liked the Internet. I was told that it is like a woman that is seductive yet mystifying. Using it is as sinful as it is helpful. While people of this generation look at it as a necessity, I think I can do away without it. Maybe because I have a poor background about computers. At my age, I feel that it is too late to become a techie. Heck, it even gives me headaches to compose a simple letter on email. However, during the most trying moments of the enhanced community quarantine, I had to find ways and means to stabilize my emotions and maintain my sanity. With television out of the picture, the Internet was the most viable option. So, I asked my son to link me to YouTube.
The first days of my amorous affair with YouTube had me watching cooking lessons and Netflix movies. Oh boy, I could not believe how extensive the topics that can be accessed through the Internet. The longer I stay tuned in, the more subjects flashed before my eyes. It has sports, documentary, and instructional shows. It also encompasses scandals, pornography, politics, and controversial personalities. Everything is right at the tip of my fingertips. I couldn’t be happier, better informed, and unwillingly addicted to it.
One thing that caught my fancy is a man named Francis Leo Marcos. Yes, that is what FLM stands for. When I first saw him, he was sensational as he was arrogant. He claims to have over a million viewers. He had the audacity to flaunt his wealth and the gall to claim kinship with the Marcoses. He called on all rich people, ala Jesus Christ, to give up their wealth to help the poor cope with the contagion besetting the nation. He called it the mayaman challenge.
My God, if this man is for real, he has brought shame to the selfish and greedy Filipinos who only think of themselves and are only concerned about their wellbeing. He talks with sincerity and his articulateness is very persuasive. If FLM is the real Macoy, his arrogance and cockiness is fully justified. I have to confess that I am among the many who bought his ticket and rode along with him in his challenge to give, no matter how much it may hurt. He was, after all, promoting a worthy cause. He was an advocate. I believed in him, although obviously I am not among the mayamans he was zeroing in. I set aside a modest amount that I may send to his foundation. Thank God, I did not. Why?
Several days after FLM’s mayaman challenge, the bashers posted their own blogs. They assert that Marcos is not really a Marcos. According to them, his real name is Norman Mangusin. They assert that he is using his mayaman challenge to obtain donations for his own enrichment; that his numerous pledges to give sacks of rice, kalabasa¸ and live chicken is a farce, fake news if you may. They alleged that he is using his YouTube channel to mislead. They brought out documents showing that he has multiple identities contained in different passports. They conclude that he is nothing more than a scam artist, a fraud, a bogus.
I refused to believe the bashers. They are nothing more than the hungry crabs who feed on each other’s legs to pull him down. The way they described FLM could not be true. He has done so much for the country during the pandemic and to belie what he has done is as sinful as raping the people in a contrived manner. We need FLM and people like him, especially now. Those who bash him and criticize him are only envious about his accomplishments. My admiration for him prejudiced my mind. I forgot that “the end does not justify the means.”
On May 19, FLM was nabbed by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation at his residence in Quezon City. Reports said he was booked due to a pending case for violation of the Optometry law. There are further charges that are being verified accusing him of violation of Republic Act 9262, or the law on Violence Against Women and their Children and qualified human trafficking. The last case is non-bailable.
With these facts coming out, I started to open my mind. I realized that the gravity of the three crimes that he is being indicted for goes into his credibility as a philanthropist and his integrity as a human being. Do I still insist to believe in someone who was arrested? Surely, there must be an explanation to this. But, there is none.
Even his explanation about his “visit” to the NBI office does not concur with what the arresting officers had to say. He says he was following up a case he filed; they say he was arrested due to a pending warrant. He says he has done nothing; they say he is being investigated for several crimes. He says he is doing what’s best for the country; they say he is doing something illegal. Whatever, the blogs about the real personality, the motives, and the modus operandi of FLM are quite illuminating. It might just be true. And if it is, is FLM worth emulating?
In the end, I thank the bashers for shedding light about the true FLM. That he became a sensation overnight beclouded my mind in becoming one of his mindless viewers. In a way, I was hypnotized by his sweet talk. I became addicted to the wrong YouTuber. But like smoking, I am giving up the vice and instead, will vow to follow the path of honesty, integrity, truth, and justice. As for FLM, I am signing off from his channel.